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Old 04-13-2018, 10:18 AM   #11
justafriend306
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Default Re: Are therapists capable of diagnosing or analyzing?

I read and responded to your other thread. I am wishing to know the context of this. Why are you then so sure your self diagnosis is correct? Why are you so reluctant to accept the diagnosis of a professional? Just what kind of therapist have you seen?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors. They would be my first choice for seeking understanding and diagnosis.

The term 'therapist' has more than once connotation, the meaning of which can also vary from region to region:

A psychologist generally has as many years of university training as a psychiatrist but are not considered physicians; as a result, a psychologist is unable to prescribe medication. However, what they can do is recommend to your family doctor the course of medication you may require. A psychologist has training in diagnosing patients.

In some locales a counselor can use the title 'therapist'. I think this is where you need to be careful. A counselor can be a social worker who has received schooling in therapy but their knowledge is minimal in comparison to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Just about anyone can take just about any certification (even a weekend seminar) and call themselves a counselor of some sort offering therapy. You need to watch for this. For example, I can take an online short course on wholistic medicine and advertise myself as a therapist. I can read up on something like essential oils that touches upon mental wellness and offer therapeutic advice.

So, you really want to establish just what sort of 'therapist' you have been seeing. What are their qualifications? Just how 'professional' are they.

I'll share my personal story. I once saw a counselor as reffered to by my benefits plan. She misdiagnosed me as merely being depressed. What happened then was a nightmare as she advised my family doctor to prescribe me an SSRI. Bad news; it caused mania and a mental break. Had I originally seen a psychiatrist instead I probably would have had the correct diagnosis and been able to avoid such a terrible time in my life.

I hope this makes some sense.
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Are therapists capable of diagnosing or analyzing?

Some people think that coming up with a psych diagnosis is pretty straightforward. You open up the DSM and look at the criteria listed for any given diagnosis. If you can check off a certain minimum number of criteria, then the diagnosis applies. That's a half-baked understanding of how to diagnose. But that's what a lot of psych clients and therapists believe. Doctors are trained (and have demonstrated the capacity) to think more deeply. (Not that they always get things right either.) If meeting criteria were all that there is to it, then we could program computers to do the diagnosing. It's not that mechanical. There is much subjective appraisal involved, or there should be.

If you haven't seen a psychiatrist yet, I think you should. Even a doctor may not be able to say conclusively that you have this or that diagnosis. What the doctor comes up with is a provisional diagnosis, subject to revision. Additionally, the psychiatrist will assess whether you have symptoms that are causing you distress that might be helped by a drug.

A doctor does not have to have a firm idea of a diagnosis before ordering medication. Meds are ordered to treat symptoms. Sometimes symptoms can be more obvious than what is causing them. Sometimes a doctor gets clues about what the diagnosis should be after seeing what medication relieves some symptoms.

Therapists really have zero business in recommending what medications a client should try. I've never met a psychiatrist who had any interest in what drugs a therapist was recommending. There are good reasons for that.

Therapists should stick to therapy. Therapy is not about analyzing what diagnosis you should have and what led to you developing a specific psychiatric disorder. Therapy is not about making big predictions. Therapy sure isn't about psychoanalysing the members of your family or someone you were in a relationship with. Therapy is about asking two big questions: "What kind of difficulty are you having in living your life?" and "What can you do to have a better life?" People usually have more options than they realize. That's something a therapist can help you look at.

Getting a psych diagnosis often is nowhere near as important as a person might believe. Often, coming up with a diagnosis doesn't really tell you what will help solve the problems you are having.
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Are therapists capable of diagnosing or analyzing?

Therapists can diagnose maliciously as well. Careful when it comes to assessments.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:17 AM   #14
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Default Re: Are therapists capable of diagnosing or analyzing?

I don't usually admit my profession here at PC, but here goes....

In the state where I live you have to be licensed to call yourself a "therapist." I also live in the state with the toughest licensure laws in the US. We are required to be able to diagnose in order to become licensed. Insurance companies also require a diagnosis for us to be able to bill.

That said, there is a difference between being capable of diagnosing and slapping a diagnostic label on a client. As part of my employment I supervise graduate students and people working for their license. One person I am supervising is awesome. She will be a great asset to the profession. Another, who I stopped supervising, passed his psychopathology class, but can not diagnose even the simplest disorder. He has no concept how to use the DSM. I spoke to his faculty advisor to express my concerns. I stopped supervising him because he refuses to learn. I am not willing to sign off on him and turn him loose in the world. I hate to wish ill on anyone, but if he does not get his "stuff" together and learn the DSM and how to diagnose I hope he never gets his license for the sake of potential future clients.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: Are therapists capable of diagnosing or analyzing?

Oh well then I have never been official diagnosed with anything! I have never seen a psychiatrist. So I guess my c-PTSD, BPD and Bulimia do not exist.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: Are therapists capable of diagnosing or analyzing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoxieDoxie View Post
Oh well then I have never been official diagnosed with anything! I have never seen a psychiatrist. So I guess my c-PTSD, BPD and Bulimia do not exist.
Generally psychiatrists diagnose. That's all that was being said.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:42 AM   #17
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Default Re: Are therapists capable of diagnosing or analyzing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loose Screw x 2 View Post
Thank you all for your answers. This is fantastic information for us!
Now we know better than to let someone, claiming to be well educated and behaving as though they are an authority on mental illness make us feel like we are not what we know good and well that we are.
We are a multiple or we would not think as we do both in parts or as a whole at times if that were not true.
We have been made to feel confused in the past by such a person.
They didn't apologize then after seeing the distress that they caused us and we doubt that they will apologize now. So, far they have not.


Thanks for this thread. (my thanks option is not working so I repeated your post)
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoxieDoxie View Post
Oh well then I have never been official diagnosed with anything! I have never seen a psychiatrist. So I guess my c-PTSD, BPD and Bulimia do not exist.
Moxie you sound bitter and frustrated. I can totally understand that. If you think you have problems than you do. Sometimes it takes years to get a diagnosis. And even then that diagnosis may be “wrong” or not really helpful.

My only advice is to keep trying to get help. Maybe stop focusing so much on the label and focus more in the symptoms. It’s true a therapist can’t officially diagnose you or prescribe Meds if needed. But if you find the right one they can still help you a lot.
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